Veterinary Glossary</a> entry, like many others, will be the subject of a future <a href="http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/freestuff/a/triviaarchive.htm">Veterinary Knowledge quiz</a>."> Veterinary Glossary</a> entry, like many others, will be the subject of a future <a href="http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/freestuff/a/triviaarchive.htm">Veterinary Knowledge quiz</a>."> Glossary Term: NecropsyVeterinary Glossary</a> entry, like many others, will be the subject of a future <a href="http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/freestuff/a/triviaarchive.htm">Veterinary Knowledge quiz</a>.">
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Glossary Term: Necropsy

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Definition: The term necropsy refers to an examination of a body, postmortem (after death), to determine the cause of death or illness.

In vet school, we were taught that this term refers to postmortem examinations on animals, versus an autopsy, which is an examination of "self". Since you can't do an examination (or anything!) postmortem, a human examining a human cadaver was said to be doing an autopsy. A human doing a examination on an animal cadaver was said to be doing a necropsy.

In checking with several current online dictionary sources1 through dictionary.com, I see that necropsy and autopsy are used interchangeably.

References:
1Necropsy - Dictionary.com references

Veterinary Glossary Index

Pronunciation: neck-rop-see
Also Known As: autopsy, postmortem examination
Common Misspellings: nekropsy
Examples:
They came home and were shocked to find their dog dead in the garage, so they took the body to the veterinary university for a necropsy.

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